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Thread: Is the standard of Judging deteriorating?

  1. #31
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    I guess that comes back to my question in the sine qua non thread -- is casting a spell over the audience something that should be required/expected for winning programs at a certain level, or at least given enough weight to overcome comparative technical weaknesses?

    E.g., a frequent criticism of the 1994 Olympic ladies results is that Kerrigan was so superior technically that she should have won, but Baiul was so successful at casting a spell over a majority of judges, among others, that she got the gold more on the strength of her charisma than her skating ability.

  2. #32
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    They tried splitting the judging before, but there was much complaining by the judges that there wasn't enough to do by only marking PCS. With the cost constraints of lowered fan support (not enough money in the ISU coffers), this is probably a prohibitive solution.

    By adding in a holistic mark (which judges used to be able to mark in 6.0, so I don't think it would be too far fetched that they could do it), it adds a little of the 6.0 presentation mark feeling back into skating, which is what many fans seem to be feeling is missing - how did that program make me feel? When taken together, was that better or worse than the last program I saw? Was it 0.1 better or 0.2 better? Let's use the NHK ladies result as an example. Did you really feel Mao deserved to win overall when comparing both programs from both skaters (not considering scoring method)? If so, why? If not, why not? I felt taken in pieces, her score was mostly correct with the typical margin of error. I really didn't see much that I could quibble about However, as a whole, I felt the mistakes really ruined the program effect for me and took the energy out of that performance so that I didn't enjoy it. I felt Suzuki's score was mostly correct when taken in pieces as well. The difference is that I felt when you looked at the entirety of Suzuki's program, it made it better than numbers crunched from ijscalc and in some respects "underscored", but I can't necessarily say WHERE it was underscored outside of margin of error. Does this make sense? Is this what many of the rest of you are trying to say?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    They tried splitting the judging before, but there was much complaining by the judges that there wasn't enough to do by only marking PCS. With the cost constraints of lowered fan support (not enough money in the ISU coffers), this is probably a prohibitive solution.

    By adding in a holistic mark (which judges used to be able to mark in 6.0, so I don't think it would be too far fetched that they could do it), it adds a little of the 6.0 presentation mark feeling back into skating, which is what many fans seem to be feeling is missing - how did that program make me feel? When taken together, was that better or worse than the last program I saw? Was it 0.1 better or 0.2 better? Let's use the NHK ladies result as an example. Did you really feel Mao deserved to win overall when comparing both programs from both skaters (not considering scoring method)? If so, why? If not, why not? I felt taken in pieces, her score was mostly correct with the typical margin of error. I really didn't see much that I could quibble about However, as a whole, I felt the mistakes really ruined the program effect for me and took the energy out of that performance so that I didn't enjoy it. I felt Suzuki's score was mostly correct when taken in pieces as well. The difference is that I felt when you looked at the entirety of Suzuki's program, it made it better than numbers crunched from ijscalc and in some respects "underscored", but I can't necessarily say WHERE it was underscored outside of margin of error. Does this make sense? Is this what many of the rest of you are trying to say?
    Yes, I'm having a hard time with this concept as well. After watching both performances several times and reading the protocol sheets, I really don't have a problem with how Akiko was scored nor did I have a problem that Mao had higher PCS in some areas (namely skating skills), but something is lacking. I've concluded that my problem is how Mao was scored relatively to how a really good performance from her is typically scored. For example, if you look at her 2010 Worlds FS, which was amazing (like the program or not), she only got 62 to Yuna's 65 (who had some gaps in performance, namely during the later part of her FS when she made some errors). And now we have her getting 64 for a relatively bad performance while someone who did quite well -- Akiko -- got 62. It's like the tables have turned.

    I do think some sort of overall impression mark would help --- that perhaps could measure the following things:
    ** Total packaging of the program -- did the jumps and spins go seamlessly with the choreography/transitions?
    ** Expression/Connection -- how well did the skater connect to the audience and/or express themselves during the WHOLE performance?
    ** Technical/Artistic balance -- did the skater balance the technical components of the program with good artistry (you could use the PCS as a guide).
    ** Disruptions -- Did mistakes interrupt the flow and packaging of the program?

    These things would not be scored individually but would be considered in looking at the program as the whole

    Maybe we can score it from 1-10 or something like that....and it would count for half of the overall score?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post

    One way to guard against that, at least at big important events that can afford to bring in more officials, would be to have one set of technical judges score GOEs and Skating Skills and Transitions and another set of artistic impression judges score Performance/Execution, Choreography, Interpretation, and Overall Impression. That way the latter set could sit back and experience the program as a whole without having to focus on analyzing edges or counting steps or spin revolutions.
    In an ideal world, what you are saying makes a lot of sense. And such proposal has been floated before but not viable for cost and administrative reasons.

    If it were up to me, I'd eliminate PE, CH and IN from scoring entirely, leaving only two of the five components, which are SS and TR. I will however specify that SS must take into account the overall sureness, clean and execution of the elements. TES should be approximately 60% of the total marks with the components, 40% overall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    In an ideal world, what you are saying makes a lot of sense. And such proposal has been floated before but not viable for cost and administrative reasons.

    If it were up to me, I'd eliminate PE, CH and IN from scoring entirely, leaving only two of the five components, which are SS and TR. I will however specify that SS must take into account the overall sureness, clean and execution of the elements. TES should be approximately 60% of the total marks with the components, 40% overall.
    That makes sense. I like that idea. I see SS + TR as more of a technical component rather than a performance one. Then you can integrate the bullets for PE/CH/IN in the overall impression.

    Question is how would you score SS+TR with the other technical elements?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    That makes sense. I like that idea. I see SS + TR as more of a technical component rather than a performance one. Then you can integrate the bullets for PE/CH/IN in the overall impression.

    Question is how would you score SS+TR with the other technical elements?
    SS and TR really represent everything technical except the elements themselves. When you are not judging the elements, you are really evaluating the skater's SS or TR. How does a skater go from element A to B? That's what SS and TR measures. Some skater like Plushenko just stroke to the next element but he may do so with very good speed, clean edges and in very secure manner, which will net him good SS but poor TR. Other skaters add quite a bit of in-between from A to B, therefore, increase the overall difficulty of the executed elements and the program itself. The nice thing about judging only SS and TR is that it really doesn't distract your attention away from the element. You know when you are not evaluating a specific element, you are automatically looking at SS and/or TR.

    I have always been uncomfortable with PE, CH and IN, like many analytical minded people are. Put this way, in the NHK ladies FS thread, when someone said components were all subjective, I could easily rebut that by showing exactly where the transitions were lacking by including specific footage cut from the youtube clip. In that sense, it's very hard to dispute that when clearly the clips show no moves that could be construed as transitions - pretty much black or white. SS is harder to show via TV or internet but in the rink, it's very easy to show - the difference is quite noticeable, even between skaters who seem to be at the same level. When you placed Chan and Kozuka SBS, while Kozuka is very good, Chan's SS just makes Kozuka look like a minor league baseball player.

    We would avoid a lot of controversies by getting rid of CH and IN as components for single skating. You want to watch a show? That's what the SOI tours (and their equivalents) and exhibitions are for. There is no shortage of opportunity for fans and general public alike to do so. In fact, I know people who only watch skating shows, but not the competitions. I am usually the reverse - I'll watch competitions but skip the shows.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    They tried splitting the judging before, but there was much complaining by the judges that there wasn't enough to do by only marking PCS.
    Which is why I suggested that the GOE judges also judge Skating Skills and Transitions.

    With the cost constraints of lowered fan support (not enough money in the ISU coffers), this is probably a prohibitive solution.
    But the cost of extra judges would indeed be prohibitive. Especially for non-elite, non-televised events that need to play by the same rules as the big kids (JGPs or senior Bs or domestic qualifying competitions).
    Let's use the NHK ladies result as an example. Did you really feel Mao deserved to win overall when comparing both programs from both skaters (not considering scoring method)?
    I haven't had a chance to watch this year's NHK yet, so I personally can't give an opinion on this question. Unfortunately now it's too late and when I do watch I won't be able to form an honest opinion about who I think "should" have won based on my own impressions of the performances because they will be slanted by knowledge of what so many other people think.

    With 6.0 judging, decisions about placements of each skater relative to the others, I feel that once I know the results the competition is spoiled for me in terms of trying to mock judge, even more so if I've already read discussions and controversies.

    Live or without prior knowledge, that's not a problem for me. I loved to mock judge under 6.0 if I had the opportunity to watch events without knowing the results.

    But that's just me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I do think some sort of overall impression mark would help --- that perhaps could measure the following things:
    ** Total packaging of the program -- did the jumps and spins go seamlessly with the choreography/transitions?
    ** Expression/Connection -- how well did the skater connect to the audience and/or express themselves during the WHOLE performance?
    ** Technical/Artistic balance -- did the skater balance the technical components of the program with good artistry (you could use the PCS as a guide).
    ** Disruptions -- Did mistakes interrupt the flow and packaging of the program?
    Your "total packaging" criterion would already be covered, along with several other criteria, under the Choreography component, and your "Expression/Connection" under some of the Performance/Execution criteria and almost all the Intepretation criteria.

    So should those criteria be moved out of those components into the Overall Impression score but those components should still exist, with only the remaining criteria in each?
    Should those aspects of the program be rewarded in several different scores?
    Should those components be eliminated entirely and replaced by the single broader Overall Impression score?


    These things would not be scored individually but would be considered in looking at the program as the whole

    Maybe we can score it from 1-10 or something like that....and it would count for half of the overall score?
    Well, maybe if you want to get rid of three of the components and replace them with one score that's worth the same amount as all the technical elements plus the other two components. But not if you keep all the components as is and then have another score that rewards some of the same global qualities again with a much higher factor, making the technical elements ultimately worth only about a quarter or at most a third of the total score.

    That might work for pro competitions where entertaining the audience is the most important goal, but not for Olympic-style sport.

    Here's my proposal:

    Combine the Skating Skills and the technical aspects of the Transitions components into one mark

    Combine the Choreography and Interpretation components into one mark, which would also include the choreographic use of transitions to link the program together

    Redefine the Performance/Execution component to explicitly include the criteria you mention

    If each of these three marks is factored the same, then P/E including consideration of technical/artistic balance, disruptions, etc., would be worth twice as much relative to the other components as it is now

    If we're keeping the fall deductions, then maybe factor those so that falls cost more in the men's event than the women's (components are factored differently, why not falls?) and more for seniors than novices, and also add an additional 50% to the cost of each subsequent fall after the first.

    Or, hell. Just let the technical panel and judges score according to technical criteria including all the technical aspects of the program components, more or less as is, and give medals based on those results.

    Then also provide audiences with scoring gizmos to mark one (overall impression), two (technical impression and artistic impression), or more holistic scores, which are sure to be more subjective and more of a popularity contest than even the most biased but knowledgeable judges, add the audience scores to the judges' scores, and give a separate set of medals based on the combination of officials' and fans' marks, or even based on just the fans' marks alone. Often there will be one clear winner for both sets of medals, but when the overall artistic impression is at odds with the analytical breakdown, then there can be separate winners and more skaters as well as more fans can be pleased by the results.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    There are lots of contests where all the tenths of points add up correctly -- but the wrong skater won.
    Which means that it's difficult for the judges to control the outcomes. Isn't this way more objective?

    My take is if each individual part seems correct, then accept the overall outcome.
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 11-28-2012 at 11:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    My take is if each individual part seems correct, then accept the overall outcome.
    I guess it's a question of whether you want the judges to decide who they like best (6.0) or you want them strictly judging elements (COP). Obviously judges can overmark/undermark in COP but I've found generally that the evaluation of programs is generally accurate, maybe a little more favorably for the top competitors.

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    Ah, at last, I finally watched Mao and Akiko's LPs.

    There is no question that Mao is in a league of her own when it comes to performance. Now, I'm confused. What was this fuzz all about? Akiko won LP by a large margin 9.30. It all came from TES. Mao's PCS is wayyyy above Akiko's if you ask me. Even though Mao has doubled many jumps, they didn't interrupt her flow and performance. It was such an exquisite program and execution, deserved P/E higher than Akiko's. There were several parts in her program Akiko's performance detached from music. Besides, her music is a little ...like Kozuka's music - difficult to interpret. It's hard to believe that Mao has doubled so many jumps but still got 117.32. However, the numbers don't lie. Her TES was 11.73 less than Akiko's TES. I understand that Akiko has come a long way, overcame huge personal illness and obstacles. So she has won the hearts of the skating fans. But sorry, there is no reputation marks for that. Mao got deserving PCS. Akiko got deserving win on LP. The overall, unfortunately maybe, Mao won by 0.05. So again, live with it.

    If you ask overall impression mark, I assume it is about performing art impact and artistic impressions, it will actually go to Mao.
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 11-29-2012 at 12:49 AM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    Ah, at last, I finally watched Mao and Akiko's LPs.

    There is no question that Mao is in a league of her own when it comes to performance. Now, I'm confused. What was this fuzz all about? Akiko won LP by a large margin 9.30. It all came from TES. Mao's PCS is wayyyy above Akiko's if you ask me. Even though Mao has doubled many jumps, they didn't interrupt her flow and performance. It was such an exquisite program and execution, deserved P/E higher than Akiko's. There were several parts in her program Akiko's performance detached from music. Besides, her music is a little ...like Kozuka's music - difficult to interpret. It's hard to believe that Mao has doubled so many jumps but still got 117.32. However, the numbers don't lie. Her TES was 11.73 less than Akiko's TES. I understand that Akiko has come a long way, overcame huge personal illness and obstacles. So she has won the hearts of the skating fans. But sorry, there is no reputation marks for that. Mao got deserving PCS. Akiko got deserving win on LP. The overall, unfortunately maybe, Mao won by 0.05. So again, live with it.

    If you ask overall impression mark, I assume it is about performing art impact and artistic impressions, it will actually go to Mao.
    Different viewpoint BB. Glad you have it, because it makes for healthy debate.

    But I just don't agree that the mistakes detracted from Mao's performance. I thinks she was FAR better at Cup of China even with the jump mistakes there. Heck, let's just go back to Japan Open. I think she did it VERY well there and would have beat a very good Ashley Wagner if not for an invalid spin. Since that initial JO program, I felt she has not performed to to her potential.

    The mistakes, to me, put Mao in autopilot mode. The choreography and performance felt forced, rather than that natural lightness I'm used to seeing from her. Any other skater would and have been deducted for doing that. For perspective, her PCS score was higher than Ashley at TEB, who killed it--no mistakes, confidence, strength power. Mao didn't show any of those things.

    Again, I'm fine with Akiko's PCS scores. But I have a problem with Mao scoring top PCS marks for a performance that was, quite frankly, below her usual standard, both technically and artistically.

    Mao's surprise look says it all -- even she thought she would lose and didn't look all that happy when she found out she won because she knows she can do much better than that.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    My take is if each individual part seems correct, then accept the overall outcome.
    The results may be "right" according to the way it's scored, but I think the question is now "is they way it's scored what's BEST for skating as a spectator sport?" When most fans scratch their heads over results but really don't have any issues with the way parts were scored when reviewing the protocols, perhaps something about the method of scoring needs to be changed...

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Then also provide audiences with scoring gizmos to mark one (overall impression), two (technical impression and artistic impression), or more holistic scores, which are sure to be more subjective and more of a popularity contest than even the most biased but knowledgeable judges, add the audience scores to the judges' scores, and give a separate set of medals based on the combination of officials' and fans' marks, or even based on just the fans' marks alone. Often there will be one clear winner for both sets of medals, but when the overall artistic impression is at odds with the analytical breakdown, then there can be separate winners and more skaters as well as more fans can be pleased by the results.
    This is an amazing suggestion! Basically the proposal is to let the audience grade the performances by by 6.0.

    There is no need, however, to give out any popularity medals for audience favorites. (The skaters' reward would be the warm glow that comes from having one's efforts appreciated. )

    What the gizmo vote would really be is the audience judging the judges and the judging system. If the audience consistently disagreed with the CoP-chosen winner, that would be very interesting. But the ISU would never go for it, for obvious reasons.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    If it were up to me, I'd eliminate PE, CH and IN from scoring entirely, leaving only two of the five components, which are SS and TR. I will however specify that SS must take into account the overall sureness, clean and execution of the elements. TES should be approximately 60% of the total marks with the components, 40% overall.
    I would hate for the "performance art" aspect of figure skating to disappear entirely.

    In the good old days the dual aspect of the discipline, sport and performance art, were clearly laid out. The sport part was about how precisely you could trace arcs of circles on the ice, and the performance art part was the free skating. Over the years the free skating became more and more "technical" and eventually school figures were dispensed with entirely.

    If we go whole hog and judge skating contests by technical precision alone, the danger is that figure skating will lose its delightful and unique split personality and become just another sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I would hate for the "performance art" aspect of figure skating to disappear entirely.

    In the good old days the dual aspect of the discipline, sport and performance art, were clearly laid out. The sport part was about how precisely you could trace arcs of circles on the ice, and the performance art part was the free skating. Over the years the free skating became more and more "technical" and eventually school figures were dispensed with entirely.

    If we go whole hog and judge skating contests by technical precision alone, the danger is that figure skating will lose its delightful and unique split personality and become just another sport.
    Exactly! What I personally love about figure skating is its being 50% a sport and 50% an art, I think it's the most balanced compromise between these two categories: other sports, like artistic gymnastics, are mainly physical with a small artistic part, others, like rhythmic gymnastics, are mainly artistical, figure skating is (or I should say "used to be"?) in the middle...

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